Hacking the noosphere

I was in Montreal on Saturday to give a talk at CUSEC 2008, a great conference that’s organized by Canadian software engineering students (and recent grads) who want to congregate, exchange views, and hear from speakers they think will provide useful insight.

I gave the morning keynote, and Jeff Atwood spoke in the afternoon. Our messages dovetailed in an interesting way. Jeff’s title was: “Is writing more important than programming?” As a wildly successful blogger, the influence of his own writing has eclipsed the influence of his programming. He admits that this result is “not typical,” but argues that every programmer will reap benefits from narrating the work: influence, collaboration, clarity of thought.

My title was “Hacking the Noosphere”. The themes are shared tools and data, social engineering, language, the semantic web, human augmentation, and Doug Engelbart’s vision of the true purpose of information technology.

Although I’m trying to be more extemporaneous these days, I had a lot I wanted to say, and I wanted to say it carefully, so this turned into one of those talks that I wrote out completely. The upside is that I can make it available to read.

4 Comments

  1. You talk was great. I’ll have a post about it up this evening.

    I just wanted to mention that CUSEC videotaped the talk and should be making it available online eventually. Maybe then you can update this post with a link the video.

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